How do I Draft a Proposal?

Laura M. Sands

Draft a proposal by first introducing the project you are representing. Give a general overview of what the project is, who is involved in implementing the project, as well as the overall goals and objectives of the project. Follow this section with details on the problem your proposal addresses, as well as the objectives you intend to fulfill if the proposal is accepted. Include specific information on how you intend to accomplish these objectives, as well as how you will measure your progress. Finally, include detailed information on how you will finance the project in the long term, as well as a detailed budget of how any funds you are currently requesting will be distributed.

When drafting a proposal, it is important to include detailed information regarding long-term project financing.
When drafting a proposal, it is important to include detailed information regarding long-term project financing.

As you draft a proposal, understand that the introduction is simply intended to offer a snapshot of the project you are proposing. Prepare it as a general overview that introduces your project. Keep this section brief and let the reader know that details will be included elsewhere in the business proposal.

After the introduction, include detailed information on the problem your proposal intends to solve or the need it will fulfill. Essentially, explain to the proposal’s reader why her or his participation is needed. Be straightforward in this section since it is important to make a strong pitch to persuade an individual or company to participate in the way you are requesting.

Clearly state your objectives. Draft a proposal in such a way that the reader is able to clearly discern what you hope to accomplish if the proposal is accepted. Be specific in offering details about how you plan to accomplish these objectives. When you draft a proposal, consider this section as your main pitch. Beyond merely stating your goals and objectives and how you intend to accomplish them, inform the reader about the methods you intend to employ in order to measure or determine whether these goals and objectives have been met.

Whenever you draft a proposal, always include a detailed section highlighting how you intend to fund the project beyond any financing you are requesting in your current proposal. This is important, as it strengthens your request by illustrating that you have thought beyond the initial assistance you need and that you are focused on long-term project goals. Investors and other business partners are reticent to invest time or finances in a project that is likely to fold after an initial effort. Include a detailed budget outlining how short-term funding will be distributed, as well as future funding sources and projected budget details.

Do not draft a proposal that merely asks for assistance and offers a few facts before closing. Instead, close your business proposal with a strong and passionate summary. Business proposal writing is all about selling your idea through your passion as well as your facts, and your summary should do exactly that. Follow this section with any pertinent attachments that should be included to help the reader make a fully informed decision.

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